Yanagawa Hina Matsuri Festival
In Kyushu’s Yanagawa, Hina Matsuri is celebrated with a procession of kimono-clad girls in riverboats gliding along its famous canals. Several kindergarten-aged girls, accompanied by their mothers, dress up in bright red kimonos and ornate gold headpieces for their inaugural appearance in the Ohina-sama Water Parade. The festival’s high-priestess leads the group, casting flower petals to announce the girls’ arrival as the boats pass under colorful hanging ornaments called sagemon. These handmade decorations are unique to the region, each honoring the birth of a girl within a family, and adding a joyous splash to the many shopping streets and canals of picturesque Yanagawa.
Yame Bonbori Festival
Japanese Culture Immersion in Nipponia Hotel
Nokonoshima Island Park
For ample walking space and fresh air, hop on the ferry to Noko Island Park, also known as Nokonoshima, just a 10-minute ride from Meinohama port. With its ever-changing seasonal floral landscape, spring is a prime time to visit, when vibrant fields of daisies, azaleas, marigolds, and poppies bring the island to life. The park is a compact 12 kilometers all the way around, so you can easily walk or jog across it while taking in the warm breeze and views of the city across the water. Nokonoshima also has plenty of other outdoor activities such as camping and barbecuing. For some local culture and craft, join the rakuyaki workshop, where you can paint hand-thrown plates and ashtrays, or visit the island’s own museum to learn about this insular urban oasis.
Photo by Fukuoka city
Don’t leave the island without sampling some of Nokonoshima’s local eats. Many of the restaurants are located near the port, so you’ll be able to enjoy seaside views while filling your belly with fresh Noko produce. Try Noko Burger for a familiar fare with a local twist, or dive into the local specialty of Noko udon — a thin, firm noodle served either hot or cold — and wash down your meal with a glass of Noko cider.
Photo © Nokonoshima Island Park